Category: Climate Change

Emails Reveal True Motivation for Destruction of Bears Ear Monument — and No Surprise, It’s Oil

Last summer Lady Freethinker reported on the recommendation by the Trump Administration to shrink national monuments, including the contentious Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. Though the message to the public focused on considering all interests and sides of the public lands debate as well as state versus federal rights, it is now known that those things had very little involvement in the decision-making process. Thanks to a lawsuit by the New York Times, more information has been released on this decision, bringing to light the true motivation: oil and other natural resource extraction. 25,000 pages of emails released...

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Hawaii Has 90,000 Cesspools — And Coral Reefs, Drinking Water & Surfing Are All Under Threat

There are nearly 90,000 cesspools scattered throughout the Hawaiian Islands. If you think that sounds like a problem (and a little disgusting), you would be right. What was once an easy alternative to handling human waste is now beginning to contaminate both groundwater and the ocean ecosystem. The definition of a cesspool is an underground container for sewage storage. But the definition also describes the word to mean a “disgusting or corrupt place,” which is exactly the spot the island paradise is heading towards if many of the cesspools aren’t replaced soon. Fifty-three million gallons of raw sewage end...

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The Why and How of Better Water Conservation

It’s easy to see why water is so important. We can only survive for a few days without drinking it, we use it to grow the food we eat, and we need it to clean our clothes and dishes and our bodies. As clear as its value is, recent droughts in places like California and South Africa have driven home the point even more. We need to conserve water, especially since drought seasons and the growing season are approaching. Why Conserve Water? There are innumerable reasons we should conserve water. It’s connected to virtually every aspect of our lives,...

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This Major City Will Run Out of Water in 90 Days

In an estimated 90 days, Cape Town will be the first major city to run out of water. This is not hyperbole or hype— when reservoirs hit 13.5% capacity, the city will turn off the taps for all but essential services. Cape Town once received an abundance of water in winter. But a lack of rain in recent years has put the city of 3.7 million people in a severe dry spell. It is in the midst of the worst drought it has faced in a century. Despite efforts by the municipal government to curb consumption, residents continue to...

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Chocolate Could Go Extinct by 2050 Due to Climate Change

Chocolate is in trouble. Cacao, the plant used to produce cocoa and other treats, faces a global shortage by 2020, and the crop may be gone as soon as 2050. The implications of this deficit go beyond candy bars: cacao’s extinction spells economic strife for millions of people who depend on its production for their livelihoods. 70% of cacao is grown in four countries: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon. These countries are expected to experience an increase in temperature of 3.8 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050, a change that is projected to dramatically alter the geography of where the plant...

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Scientists Report Climate Change Really Did Make Hurricane Harvey Worse

Groundbreaking research has found that climate change increased the likelihood and magnitude of Hurricane Harvey. According to articles published in Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) and Environmental Research Letters (ERL), Hurricane Harvey was about three times more likely to happen and up to 38% more rain-heavy because of climate change. The scientists used two different approaches. In the ERL article, they analyzed U.S. Gulf Coast rainfall records dating back to 1880 and found that infrequent, heavy rainfall events have gotten more severe. In the GRL article, researchers looked at Houston-area weather data from 1950-2016 and climate records and came to a similar conclusion. In...

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Starving Polar Bear Caught on Camera Brings Bleak Glimpse of a Warmer Future

Devastating footage of a starving polar bear is causing international alarm across social media channels. The sickening image demonstrates the urgent need to make changes and implement solutions to address climate change, in order to lessen the impact it will have on the Earth. Sea Legacy, a collective of filmmakers and photographers, are on a mission to create healthy and abundant oceans. This summer they sent an expedition to the Canadian Baffin Islands, where they encountered a polar bear. Unfortunately, this once majestic and powerful creature was gaunt and frail, close to death from hunger. Paul Nicklen, the researcher...

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Tax Bill Set to Open Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for Oil Development

The GOP-backed tax bill inching closer to becoming law contains a provision that would open up an environmentally sensitive part of the Alaskan tundra for oil drilling. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) spans more than 19 million acres and is one of the last untouched ecosystems in the United States. It is home to over 200 varieties of migratory birds, 30 species of land mammals, and 40 species of fish, and is the only U.S. refuge where polar bears live. Other notable residents include walruses, beluga whales and snowy owls. The land is also the main calving grounds for North America’s largest caribou...

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